Sustainability at Kaune

A Commitment to our Planet

New Mexico is home to many long-held cultural traditions that center care and respect for the land and water. From indigenous farming practices, to adobe brick making, to annual acequia “ditch days’, New Mexicans have been coming together for generations to uphold the importance of shared practice and responsibility for the well-being of their communities. 

At Growing Up NM, our Guiding Principles, Vision, and Mission value the importance of physical spaces just as much as the people in them. The Early Learning Center at Kaune is at the heart of our organization. Kaune houses our high-quality early childhood and family support programs, including our PreK and child care center. Built in 1943, the historic John Gaw Meem building is centrally located in the Casa Linda neighborhood of Santa Fe. Since purchasing the facility in 2016, it been our responsibility to maintain the facility and grounds in alignment with our long-term commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and increasing sustainability through efficient energy use and water consumption. 

Much like our multi-generational programs, we understand there is not a one-size fits all approach to upgrading the physical structure. Through a holistic systems-approach, and under the guidance of industry professionals, in 2023 we will conduct an extensive evaluation of the entire building to identify areas for improvement including solar panels and electrical infrastructure, retrofits, water use, and opportunities for passive solar energy. As part of Katherine Freeman’s Legacy Campaign, these state-of-the-art renovations will minimize our impact on the environment and surrounding ecosystems.

Solar Technology

With over 300 days of sunlight per year, Santa Fe is blessed with an abundance of renewable solar energy, making converting the Early Learning Center at Kaune to solar energy a logical step in our sustainability redesign. During the second phase of this campaign, we will work with trusted renewable energy experts to install solar panels on the Kaune grounds.

Energy Audit

Built by famed local architect, John Gaw Meem, the Pueblo Revival Style building which houses the Early Learning Center at Kaune is a neighborhood treasure worth preserving. However, with historic buildings come historic plumbing and electrical infrastructure, which are inefficient and costly to maintain. As part of our sustainability redesign, we will conduct a thorough energy audit on the building to maximize our green energy potential.

Water Conservation

As members of a high-desert community, we understand that water is not a limitless resource, and that we must all play a role when it comes to responsible water usage and conservation. By incorporating native plants into Kaune’s landscape design and upgrading the grounds and building to include modern water-wise catchment the repurposing systems, we will drastically decrease not only our water usage, but our water waste.

Please generously support the children who will care for our planet for generations. 

For more information or information about naming opportunities, please get in touch with Brigid Quinn.